Wire-O, the Lebron James of Mechanical Binding

It can do it all: That’s the reason we call Wire-O the “LeBron James” of mechanical binding methods. Wire-O is the most commonly used mechanical binding style. It gives books, calendars, day planners, journals and other products an elegant, classic look. Publishers like Wire-O in part because it’s an affordable binding solution for long-run projects. Also, Wire-O is ideal for crossover images such as maps, because the pages do not step-up when laying flat.

Planning tips

Provide our mechanical binding specialists with a sample of your project. Samples made up of the exact stock to be used aid us in meeting your production guidelines and allow us to measure margins, copy placement, final trim size, tab placement and book bulk. A pre-production sample will also serve as our collating master; this is vitally important for projects with multiple versions or those without page numbers.

All images and text should be kept clear of the spine area to avoid the punched binding holes. For books using 3:1 wire, leave at least a 3/8" margin from the spine edge to the edge of the punched hole closest to the spine. That margin should be at least a 1/2" for books using 2:1 wire.

If your project will include index tabs, the tab extensions must be sized properly based on the face dimension of your book and the number of tabs in each bank. To calculate the size of each tab extension, start by subtracting ¼” from both the head and foot of your face dimension to account for the required shoulder margins. Then, divide this number by the number of tabs in each bank. For example, if your book has an 8-1/2” face dimension and will include four tabs, each tab extension will be 2” wide (head-to-foot). Here’s the math: 8.5 minus .25 (x 2) = 8 / 4 tabs = 2” per tab.


Designers and users appreciate the ability for Wire-O books to include index tabs, foldouts, multiple stocks, undersized sheets and other features. Wire-O allows books to open 360 degrees, making it a great solution for reference materials such as instruction manuals and media guides. Books with almost any page count can be Wire-O bound, as binding elements in both large and small diameters are available.

The Finish Line Binderies Advantage

Like LeBron, the mechanical binding specialists at Finish Line work quickly and efficiently with the best tools in the business. In addition to Wire-O binding, we also offer plastic comb and plastic spiral mechanical binding styles; PUR, perfect and layflat adhesive binding; folding, cutting, drilling and more. Contact us during the planning stages of your project to let us help you choose the right binding solution for your printed products.

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